Britain in Hong Kong Mar-Apr 2020

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The Official Magazine of The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Issue 65 Mar-Apr 2020



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March - April 2020


The Official Magazine of The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong 1201, Emperor Group Centre, 288 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

General Committee and Specialist Committee Chairs Chairman

Education Committee

Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong Ltd

Connect Communication

Peter Burnett


Anne Kerr

Mott MacDonald Ltd Vice-Chair

Jeremy Sheldon

Jones Lang LaSalle Ltd

Tel: (852) 2824 2211 Fax: (852) 2824 1333

Mark Loasby

Environment & Energy Committee

Helen Cochrane

Website: Follow us @britchamhk

Meinhardt (Hong Kong) Ltd Financial Markets Committee

British Chamber of Commerce Secretariat

Howse Williams

Executive Director

Events & Sponsorship Manager

Jill Wong


Future Leaders Committee

Andrew Seaton

Krystyna Kosciuszko

Paul McSheaffrey

Edward Beeley

Holman Fenwick Willan

General Manager

Senior Events Executive

KPMG Corporate Finance Ltd Elected Directors

Healthcare Committee

Marketing & Communications Manager

Events & Marketing Executive

Benjamin Birks

Dr. Hanif Kanji

Zung Fu Company Ltd

Sinophi Healthcare

Catherine Li

Innovation & Technology Committee


David Dodwell

Les Hales

CIO Connect

Strategic Access Ltd

Logistics Committee

David Haigh

M Power Associates


Stephen Kitts

Eversheds Sutherland

Mark Millar

Retail & Hospitality Committee

Elisa Harca Red Ant

William Lau

Marketing & Communications Committee

Timothy Peirson-Smith

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd

BSC Group Ltd Executive Counsel Ltd

Susheela Rivers DLA Piper

Stuart Tait

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd Business Angel Programme

Neil Orvay

Evolution-U Ltd Business Policy Unit

Jim Taylor CLP

Tricia Weener

Real Estate Committee

Jeremy Sheldon JLL

Scottish Business Group

John Bruce

Hill & Associates SME & Start-up Committee

Phil Aldridge functioneight

Women in Business Committee

Sheila Dickinson

St James’s Place Weath Management

China Committee

Alison Simpson KPMG

Construction Industry Group

Nigel White

Gammon Construction Ltd CSR Steering Group

Simon Phipps

The Digital Insurer

The British Chamber’s Sterling Members

Jessie Yip

Emily Weir

Corporate Relations & Business Policy Manager

Hugo Deacon

Bonni Leung Laura Chan

Finance Manager

Michelle Cheung Secretary

Yammie Yuen

Membership & Business Development Assistant Manager Office Assistant

Silvia To

Sam Chan

For Membership or Marketing opportunities please contact

B ritain in Hong Kong is available on board and mailed to readers in bio-degradable envelopes.

Editor Sarah Graham Editorial support Gina Miller

Design & Production Simon Kay Frank Paul Advertising Jennifer Luk

Britain in Hong Kong is published by

Ninehills Media Limited Level 12, Infinitus Plaza, 199 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3796 3060 Fax: (852) 3020 7442 Email: Website: © All published material is copyright protected. Permission in writing from the Publishers must be obtained for the reproduction of the contents, whole or in part. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions of the Publishers. The Publishers assume no responsibility for investment or legal advice contained herein.

CONTENTS BUSINESS UPDATE 4 Chairman’s Message 6 News, Announcements & Sponsorships 13 New Members

IN DETAIL FEATURE: EDUCATION TRENDS 16 Full Steam Ahead FEATURE: OVERSEAS EDUCATION 22 A World of Opportunity COMPETITION LAW 30 UK’s Competitive Edge, Post-Brexit UK PROPERTY 32 An Educated Investment GREATER BAY AREA 34 Down but Not Out MONEY 36 Cash Concentration FINANCE 38 Good to Go EMPLOYMENT LAW 40 Changes to Hong Kong Employment Law HEALTH 42 Overcoming Employee Health Inertia AIR TRAVEL 44 Traveller Satisfaction Guaranteed LIVING TRAVEL 46 Undiscovered Family Adventure Holidays BOOKS 50 Book Shelf LUXURY & LIVING 51 Desire Made Real


52 Member Offers YOUR CHAMBER 54 HK Dollar Peg: Here to Stay or Time for a Rethink? 54 China’s Global Ambitions: From Trade War to Tech War 55 A Solution to Hong Kong’s Plastic Bottle Waste 56 Marketing Outlook 2020: How to Deal with Uncertainty 56 Webinar: Covid-19 Impact on Business PERSPECTIVES 58 Mun Yeow, Partner, Member of the Global Strategy Board, Clyde & Co 60 Shaken not Stirred


Dear Members, Just when we thought it might be safe to go back into the water, when the dust appeared to be settling after the social unrest of 2019, Hong Kong is hit hard by this terrible coronavirus, Covid-19. It all feels reminiscent of 2003. I remember the lockdown in our city during the SARS outbreak and the serious effect it had on confidence and well-being. I remember the sense of helplessness in the face of a scourge which befell Hong Kong much harder than Covid-19 has done. It was the sheer impenetrability and unpredictability of the disease that sent shivers through the community. We had no idea how it might develop and how long it might remain with us. I also remember the commentary about how, six years on from the handover, SARS was the nail in Hong Kong’s viability. Nothing, of course, could have been further from the truth. Once the warm and humid weather arrived in April/May, and sent the virus packing, the “animal spirits” returned with determination and we witnessed the start of a long bull run for Hong Kong. I am told these virus taxonomies hate three things: heat, humidity and sunlight. We may simply have to wait for Mother Nature to run her course. Of course, I cannot foretell whether 2020 will be a repeat of 2003. Hong Kong is in a different place in 2020. I am also not equipped to say how the Covid-19 virus will develop over the next weeks and months. I do know, however, as I have written before, that you should never count Hong Kong down and out.


Like the business of many of our members, the activities of the Chamber have been badly impacted by Covid-19. We had a queue of really terrific events lined up for the start of the year and these have been cancelled or postponed. The Executive Team, with its usual inventiveness, has nevertheless managed to stage a number of virtual events through the technology of the “webinar”. Andrew Seaton and I kicked off the first event with a virtual conference on the impact of the virus on our members. I used the opportunity to report on how the SAR Government was handling the response, following a briefing I attended for international business chambers by the Chief Executive. The one website, in this context, that I would recommend you to consult is that of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection at Watch out for more Chamber webinars – there is an extensive programme lined up. We did manage to hold two sold-out and “real” events before Chinese New Year. John Greenwood, Chief Economist at Invesco and “Father of the Hong Kong Currency Peg”, explained not only why there is no alternative to the peg but also that it is solid and built to withstand the economic turbulence of black swan events. And Jamil Anderlini, Asia Editor of the Financial Times, gave the benefit of his years in China studying the growth of the mainland information technology phenomenon in all its different hues and colours. These are the kind of events that the Chamber excels in – experts at the top of their game, sharing their insights and knowledge. We are deeply grateful to both of them.

The virus has less adversely affected the policy and advocacy work of the Chamber. We continue to liaise with our partners in the mainland and in Macau (the CBBC, the CBI and the British Chambers) on the opportunities for the Greater Bay Area. And as I write this message we are on the point of submitting our letter to the British Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, to encourage an early Free Trade Agreement with Hong Kong.

opportunity to give us your ideas and the areas where we might help.

We are also lending some thought to the “Business Bounce-Back” for our members, once the virus has passed, and how we might support this with initiatives and lobbying. In my mind, and based on the experience of SARS, we will encourage the government to take a lead in supporting this through accelerating its programme of community expenditure in line with its policy objectives for social and other infrastructure.

So let me finish this missive with a warm message to all our members, their families and stakeholders for a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rat :

But I would welcome ideas from our members. We are in a position to meet with the government across all its different departments and lobby for initiatives to reboot and support business. So please take the

Peter Burnett Chairman, The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

In all the focus on the developing story of Covid-19 it is easy to forget that, at the start of February, we also celebrated the arrival of the Chinese New Year of the Rat. The most important contribution of the rat is that it should bring us all good health in the year ahead. Everything else, in my mind, will follow.

“Kung Hei Fat Choi; Seong Jip Hing Lung; San Tai Gin Hong”



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Kellett Welcomes New Principal, Mark Steed Mark Steed joined Kellett this August and brought with him over 30 years of experience in education. This is his fourth headship since 2001. Mark is a recognised educational thought leader with a focus on innovation. His mission is to future-proof students’ learning, equipping them with the right mindset and skills to enable them to thrive – today and tomorrow. Mark is a regular keynote speaker at educational conferences around the world. He is also a frequent contributor and columnist for Tes with a particular interest in how new technologies can be used in education following his chairmanship of the UK Independent Schools Council Digital Strategy Group from 2007 to 2015. Mark joined Kellett from the not-for-profit Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) in Dubai where

he was Director, responsible for three schools and 2,500 students from three to 18 years old. Prior to JESS, Mark was Principal of Berkhamsted Schools Group in Hertfordshire and Headmaster of Kelly College in Devon. He previously taught at The Leys School, Radley College and Oundle, where he was also Housemaster and coached the First XV. Mark has master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge and University of Nottingham, as well as a Masters-in-Management from Ashridge-Hult Business School, where he researched alternative business models for secondary schooling. He is active on twitter at @independenthead and @Kellett_CEO and on his blog at

Covid-19 and Chamber Webinars Given the government’s announcements in regards to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), and the measures it has introduced, we have decided that Chamber events up until 16 March are to be postponed. In the meantime, we will continue to provide information and insight to you by hosting a series of webinars covering a variety of topics relevant to the current situation and other industry trends. In the meantime, any members who wish to discuss hosting a webinar with us – please do contact the events team via email at We have created a coronavirus knowledge hub which we will update regularly with relevant information.


Public/News/COVID-19-Updates.aspx? If you have any insight that you wish to place on here, please email


Leadership in the Time of Covid-19 As Covid-19 becomes a global public health emergency, the onus is on business leaders to rise to the challenge. – by Kate Holgate, Head of Hong Kong, Brunswick Group


ew businesses around the world can expect to prove immune to the Covid-19 outbreak. The number affected is still climbing – surpassing SARS in less than two months. SARS hit the global economy hard and devastated many businesses in Asia. Despite better technology and global efforts at containment, Covid-19 is more challenging still. The world is smaller and more connected. Importantly, China has a much larger role in the global economy. Covid-19 may initially have been centered in China, but it is increasingly impacting companies across multiple markets in Asia and beyond. Exposure to Covid-19 may directly impact employees, suppliers, investors and customers. However, fear, stoked by sensational press coverage, social media exaggeration and fake news, can be just as detrimental and far-reaching, increasing business exposure to reputational and legal risks, reduced financial and operational performance. To handle this crisis quickly and effectively, business leaders need to focus on four key areas: business resilience, employee communications, investor engagement and corporate social responsibility.

Building resilience Few companies are well prepared for comparatively rare events such as epidemics and pandemics, and even the best business continuity plans can prove inadequate. When events like Covid-19 emerge, it is important to focus on the organisational basics. Ensuring the continued support of key stakeholders is critical and forms the cornerstone of resilience for any business. That is why business leaders need to communicate with employees, partners, investors and customers. You should, of course, follow reliable expert advice from global and national health experts. Do not be tempted to improvise in response to public or media sentiment. Acknowledge concerns and stick to known facts.


At the same time, leaders will need to maintain a firm grip on business fundamentals to keep the company competitive and ensure the business and its employees are ready to move quickly as soon as recovery begins. You will want to understand how the outbreak is impacting your markets, your supply chain, your insured risk, investor confidence and your regulatory environment. The Board will want to develop a detailed understanding of how operations would be impacted if further dramatic containment measures were implemented and will ask whether you have the right technology, systems and people to maintain operations through extended periods of enforced remote working. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Take the time to think through your approach to the toughest challenges and business decisions – do it now, as the outbreak and measures to contain it look set to get more severe before they get better.

Communicate with your employees People factors loom large in the success of every business. Most business leaders are aware that employee communication is essential to build trust, engagement and performance. But what does employee communication need to address in a situation like this? Effective employee communication involves demonstrating empathy and appreciating the human impact of Covid-19. Business leaders should not focus solely on policies and procedures, but also highlight that employees’ safety – and that of their friends and loved ones – is their most important concern. Senior leaders have the key to unlocking effective employee communications. It is their responsibility to make sure managers have the right information to answer employee questions confidently and to convey the company’s approach accurately and consistently. Keep your message clear and simple. Remember that employees want simple answers to simple questions. Can I work from home? How do I do that? Where can

I and can’t I travel? Avoid messages with detailed policy descriptions that require decoding. As the outbreak continues, it will become increasingly challenging to keep employees connected and engaged, especially if a large proportion of the team is working from home. Think about how best you can institute regular video or telephone check-ins and encourage colleagues to work in groups and talk to each other often even if they aren’t in the workplace together. Communicate with your employees regularly and frequently, but ensure that all communication is meaningful, not just repetitive. Remember also that communication is about dialogue and exchange, not just broadcast – ask questions, promote sharing, and give employees the opportunity to engage. If the situation changes suddenly, don’t wait for a scheduled communication to tell people, get the message out as soon as possible.

Engage with your investors The golden rule to effective investor engagement is to be transparent. Communicate as openly as possible on the expected operational and financial impact on the business. Speak about the tangible impacts such as physical store closures and weakened supply chains, but at the same time, describe specific ways in which you will manage and mitigate the challenges of the current situation. Investors look at numbers. They will urge you to provide earnings guidance or make predictions. Be very careful about making broad predictions or quantifying potential impact. Instead, quantify historic direct end market exposure. If your business was disrupted by previous health outbreaks such as SARS, share your experience and tell investors how your company is prepared to respond today. Remind investors why your business is effectively positioned over the medium to long-term, despite a very challenging near-term. Outline your competitive advantages. Speak about what makes the company resilient. Explain how your current growth strategy will deliver solid results over the long-term.

Corporate social responsibility While it is tempting to focus purely on your business, you should also consider the broader picture and what you can do to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

A growing number of companies around the world are responding to calls to help governments and civil society contain the outbreak. While contributions can be made in the form of cash donations, inkind donations such as medical supplies could be more useful in areas where large cash donations are difficult to absorb, manage and allocate. Business leaders are advised to draw from the core of their business and tap into the expertise and skills of employees when providing practical assistance. For instance, McDonald’s and KFC are using their kitchens to help provide meals for medical staff working in hospitals in Wuhan. Alibaba Health and Ping An Good Doctor are making their telemedicine services free of charge, to help relieve pressure on the provincial health system. Whatever you choose to do, find a credible partner and/or a non-governmental organisation. Working in partnership is critical for optimising the impact of your contribution, and if chosen wisely can help avoid reputational potholes along the way.

In conclusion In summary, Covid-19 will bring significant challenges to your business. But the right communication and stakeholder engagement approach – frequent, concise, transparent and proactive – will help minimise the impact on your business and enable you to enter the recovery phase with greater trust among your employees, your suppliers and your customers. Crisis is a leadership opportunity. Are you doing everything you should to make sure your business emerges from the short-term challenges stronger and with an even greater level of support from the stakeholders who will help shape your future?

Brunswick is a strategic advisory firm focused on critical issues. We advise on critical issues at the center of business, politics and society, and help our clients – the leaders of large, complex organizations – understand and navigate these interconnected worlds. For more information, contact us at



New British Chamber Members for January-February 2020 Evolution Partners Evolution Partners is a boutique management consultancy, headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in France, the UK and Australia. We advise and consult with executives in the Corporate & Investment Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance sectors.

David Powell, Managing Partner E: T: +852 9685 6951 Financial Corporate

Fortnum & Mason First founded in London in 1707, Fortnum & Mason is an essential destination for anyone in search of extraordinary food, joy-giving things, unforgettable experiences and exceptional service. Fortnum’s mission is to deliver a sense of pleasure to every customer, whether they’re shopping in London, at its new outpost in Hong Kong’s K11 MUSEA, or from anywhere else in the world at the award-winning

Carmen Chiu Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific Retail Corporate

IWG, International Workplace Group IWG has drawn upon its 30-year heritage in flexible workspace to create a world leading commercial real estate platform. Its portfolio of operating brands – including Regus, Spaces, HQ and No18 – offers an unrivalled level of choice for businesses of all sizes and budgets. With over one million workspaces and a presence in hundreds of countries, cities, towns, and transport hubs, IWG has the world’s largest network of flexible workspaces and a full suite of business support services. IWG has 18 locations across Hong Kong.

Pannee Ng Enterprise Sales Manager E: W: T: +852 98332065 Commercial real estate Corporate

WHAT IF WHAT IF is a one-stop creative events and digital agency developing live and impactful consumer experiences for luxury brands. We believe it all starts with the consumer’s journey: a creative storytelling that connects people to a brand, a product – which is then developed with events or digital solutions. Our agency focuses on luxury and retail: private events, interactive retail installation, store activations, PR events, and shows.

Kirsten Emma Bell Co-Founder/ Director E: Marketing Small business

Ashbury Communications Ashbury Communications is an Asia-focused and content-led consultancy that delivers global influence for its clients. The business was founded by Adam Harper, formerly HSBC’s Head of Communications for Greater China, to meet the growing demand for a consultancy that combines advice built on deep corporate experience with a true passion for original content.

Adam Harper Managing Director E: T: +852 3569 2275 Marketing Start-up



ATT Worldwide ATT Worldwide is a professional event planning company integrating creativity, design and execution. It provides overall online and offline brand promotion services for worldwide companies. Our services include offline event planning and execution, web-design, WeChat marketing, and Facebook promotion.

IS Prime IS Prime is an award-winning multi-asset broker and Prime of Prime, providing institutional clients with industry leading liquidity across Spot FX, Precious Metals, Indices and Oil. Founded in London in 2014 and regulated by the FCA in the UK, the group opened in Hong Kong in 2017 and is licensed by the SFC.

Sammy Guo Chief Executive Officer E: W: T: +852 9694 3111 Marketing Start-up

Will Robbins Head of Asia E: W: T: +852 3704 4651 Financial Start-up

Hudson As a leading provider of talent solutions for over 30 years in Asia Pacific, Hudson helps organisations with permanent and contract recruitment, candidate profiling and assessment, leadership development, and outplacement and redeployment. Hudson applies data-driven and best practice assessment techniques to reduce hiring risk, improve quality of hire, and take unconscious bias out of hiring decisions.

Adam Cole Regional Director, Hong Kong E: T: +852 2919 6218 Recruitment Non-profit

Laureaus Sport for Good We use sport as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people around the world overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives. With Nelson Mandela as our founding patron, Laureus Sport for Good has spent many years developing a network of grantee partners and a worldwide charitable infrastructure. Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 200 programmes in 40+ countries.


Rebecca Dance-Shuker Senior Development Manager – APAC E: T: +852 5506 5419 Charity Non-profit

FEATURE: EDUCATION TRENDS Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong

Full Steam Ahead In recent years, STEM has become a buzzword in education circles, leading to many schools incorporating it into their curriculums. Here, we look at how Hong Kong’s schools are adapting this approach in 2020. – By Sarah Graham


ver the last two decades, the way educators approach the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics has been constantly evolving. Although STEM education may feel like a recent trend, the concept of combining these subjects to improve competitiveness in these areas has in fact been around since the 1990s. The United States was the first to embrace it to meet a shortfall of candidates for tech jobs. Others quickly followed.

only proposing strategies and recommendations on promoting STEAM education as late as 2015. At the time, the Education Bureau’s report highlighted the need to “nurture a versatile pool of talents with different sets and levels of skills to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong” through STEAM education. Since then, it’s safe to say some of Hong Kong’s schools have taken the concept a step further.

Now, it seems, it’s everywhere. And in many schools, it has evolved into STEAM, to include the arts.

Take the newly opened Wycombe Abbey School, for example. It not only promotes STEAM education but has added an ‘i’ to the acronym.

So how is it working in Hong Kong’s schools? When it comes to this particular trend, Hong Kong was a little late to the game, with the Education Bureau

Shahzada Janjua, head of iSTEAM at the school, explains that the addition of the ‘i’ represents computing.


“We’re integrating computing with STEAM – they’re inseparable really because when we’re talking about building something, we use computer-aided software. We’ve taken what’s out there for STEM and STEAM and shaped it and given it some purpose,” he says.

Wycombe Abbey School

The school incorporates different themes into its STEAM learning for each school year, focusing on the geography of the region for greater pupil engagement. For example, projects underway are looking at China and its moon rover mission, and Hong Kong and its architecture. “We’re building lifelong skills. For Year 1, we’re helping their motor skills become finer. We’re also enabling computational thinking – I taught them algorithms using musical sequences on a colour scratch piano,” Janjua says. “We have a Mission to Mars project that runs throughout the school. It

gives us a great way to tackle the theme of space together, for example, how would you build homes on Mars?” He says that more than anything STEAM is about critical thinking and problem solving, skills that will be crucial in a future world where automation will play a major role.

Canadian International School of Hong Kong



“These skills are key for the next 20-50 years. Employers are looking for these types of skills. We’re developing critical thinking at a younger age. By the time we get to Year 6 you can imagine what sort of problem solvers there will be,” Janjua adds.

Canadian International School of Hong Kong

The Canadian International School of Hong Kong has incorporated STEAM into its curriculum since the school was established in 1991. Its wellestablished culture of innovation led it to take STEAM a step further in 2017, when it formally rolled out a school-wide plan called Project Innovate. An initiative for pupils from Pre Reception to Grade 12, it focuses on providing students with the skills and mindset they need to be successful in our fast-changing world. Project Innovate incorporates two additional elements: 21st century competencies of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking; and character-building including resilience, curiosity, adaptability and leadership. Head of School, Dr. Jane Camblin, explains that Project Innovate is not simply an add-on or general lesson given once a week. She says collaboration is encouraged both inside and outside the classroom, with technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, virtual reality, robotics, and augmented reality readily available for all to use. “STEAM education encourages the critical thinkers and team players, enhances imagination, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. Students who embrace STEAM subjects develop the core skills needed by future leaders to meet the demands and succeed in today’s fast-changing world,” she says. “As an IB school in which teachers and students alike learn to become balanced, reflective, openminded risk-takers, STEAM is another versatile tool in service of education in both real and virtual time – a tool even more valuable currently in Hong Kong as more and more reliance on online learning is necessitated by current events.” Another school that is coming at STEAM from a different angle is Kellett School, the British International School in Hong Kong. Its Principal & CEO, Mark Steed, argues that the original concept of STEM education has become somewhat outdated, and in many ways misconstrued.


Wycombe Abbey School


“STEM was set up in America in order to promote science and technology because it was so weak. Hong Kong has a totally different context to that. If anything, education here needs to be more balanced than that,” he says, adding: “The whole thing has got out of hand and has become a bandwagon that people have jumped on. It was trying to address a deficit in America. By any account Hong Kong has some of the best maths and science learning in the world.” Kellett, a not-for-profit, parent-governed school that follows the English National Curriculum, offers a “futureproof” style Wycombe Abbey School of education with innovation at its core. Steed points to the upcoming Sixth Form mini Master of Business Administration (MBA) time in the curriculum to teach innovation and 21st program as an Century skills. One of the things we’re setting out example of how the to do in this school is to prepare young people for school is preparing the world in the mid-21st Century. We’re trying to its students for the balance that and prepare them for this very different future workforce – a world,” he says. workforce he is well aware will offer jobs Steed is relatively new to Kellett, joining the school not yet dreamed of. last year from Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai. One of his successes there was the launch of “We hold problema cross-curricular subject called Innovation, which solving days rather brought together various departments including Mark Steed, Principal than doing a formal IT, maths and computing, and encouraged designand CEO, Kellett STEAM program. thinking, problem solving, collaboration skills, and British International Our aim is to find communication. School Dr Jane Camblin with Grade 5 students at Canadian International School of Hong Kong

“The students designed flatpack furniture then went into a Dragon’s Den to pitch it. Eventually the winners had the furniture made and it was placed around the school,” he says. He plans to continue this innovational learning at Kellett. “We’re trying to prepare students not only in terms of skills for the workplace but also in having the mental capacity and resilience needed to navigate change. We’ve got to give people the skills to upskill through life. The world is changing, and the challenges are different.”


FEATURE: OVERSEAS EDUCATION Regents International School, Pattaya

A World of Opportunity In these times of global movement of people, a growing number of parents are opting for an overseas education for their children. We speak to some of Thailand’s best-known international schools to find out the benefits. – By Sarah Graham


hen it comes to education, Hong Kong is well known for the wide variety of schooling options it offers both local and expatriate families. Home to some of the world’s best-known international schools, the city has something for everyone. But for those who seek a change of scenery for their young ones that’s not too far away, there are regional international schools worth considering. We spoke to three international schools in Thailand about the benefits of an overseas education.

Regents International School, Pattaya Part of the Nord Anglia family of schools, Regents International School, Pattaya offers the English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate for its secondary pupils, and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for its primary students. It adopts


the ‘Round Square’ approach to education, which means it firmly embeds the six ideals of democracy, environmental awareness, adventure, leadership, internationalism and service to the community into various areas of educational practice. Located in southern Thailand, it’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok yet close enough for a weekend city getaway. The school has been open for 25 years and boasts above average results. The Nord Anglia Education collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) means its 1,000 pupils can access its innovative way of learning the STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics), encouraging creativity, experimentation, and teaching them how to apply their skills to real-world situations.

The partnership sees students visiting MIT to meet leading scientists and immerse themselves in a culture of hands-on problem-solving. Teachers also make a trip the institute to participate in workshops that expose them to the forefront of STEAM research and thinking, and to receive hands-on training from MIT researchers and renowned academics.

Pupils at Regents International, Pattaya

But beyond that, says Sarah OsborneJames, the school’s principal, Regents International offers a window on the world that many state schools cannot match. This, she adds, enables the school to nurture global citizens. “We take a very holistic approach to education. We “We’re very international in terms of our approach believe in character education, about developing and the opportunities we the person,” she says. have to offer. We’re a global campus – we can go on One of the big attractions expeditions around the world. for parents, Osborne-James We really have a wide and broad We really have a wide and adds, is the location. “We’ve broad curriculum around got lots of local families who curriculum around exposure to exposure to world issues. It’s are not happy with the traffic world issues. about participating in world and pollution in Bangkok. – Sarah Osborne-James, Principal, The air quality is very different issues – beach clean-ups, for example – about giving time here, the surroundings are Regents International School in and understanding to these much greener. It’s a healthier Thailand issues, developing empathy.” lifestyle for the pupils. They benefit from having strong The school has pupils of 55 social and emotional support nationalities, of which 73 here. are boarders. Its general philosophy is to provide its pupils with academic success, a sense of adventure, “I would say to any overseas parent considering compassion and empathy. sending their child to our school, experience it for

Bromsgrove International School, Bangkok

Bromsgrove International School, Bangkok



yourself. Come and visit the school and when you see the kids themselves, that is all the assurance that you’ll need.”

Bromsgrove International School, Bangkok Affiliated with Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, United Kingdom – one of the UK’s oldest boarding schools – its Thai sister school is located on the outskirts of Bangkok. The two schools share the same simple ethos: to produce happy, moral and creative citizens through enlightened, disciplined and broad education. It has 500 pupils made up of 27 nationalities. Bromsgrove offers British curriculum and BTech (of which it is the only one in the region), and the majority of its teachers are recruited from the UK and from other British International Schools.

Dr. Dan Moore, Headmaster and CEO, Bromsgrove International School

Dr Moore adds: “Due to the ongoing political situation in Hong Kong, parents there are looking for schools abroad. Due to our reputation as an outstanding British boarding school In Asia, many Hong Kong parents learn about us online and have chosen us due to our proven academic results, proximity to Hong Kong, diverse international school community, very competitive school fees and our holistic child-centred pastoral care.”

An international boarding school like ours gives the children huge exposure to international life. The children learn to get on with each other, barriers are broken down. – Dr. Dan Moore, Headmaster and CEO, Bromsgrove International School in Thailand

Headmaster and CEO, Dr. Dan Moore, says the school is an obvious choice for Hongkongers who want to give their children a more global education as it’s only two hours away, and its fees are very competitive at around half those of its British counterpart.

The school boasts a picturesque Thai setting offering two specialist campuses, one for its Early Years pupils and the other for children aged from 6 to 18 years, situated in its own landscaped grounds and adjacent to a 36-hole golf course, making Bromsgrove ‘home’ to some worldclass junior golfers.

Bromsgrove is proud of its small class sizes, ranging from a maximum class size of 12 for its youngest learners up to 24 for oldest students. “This is incredibly popular with parents,” Dr. Moore says.

Students at The Rugby School, near Pattaya

Students at The Rugby School, near Pattaya



Perhaps more attractive than class sizes is the fact that the school values diversity as a way to enrich its pupils alongside its academic approach.

The campus of The Rugby School, near Pattaya

“I’ve always been mindful of ensuring a diverse school,” Dr. Moore says. “The enrichment and understanding the students have of cultures and of global issues. Pupils of all nationalities become best friends. That’s the difference with international education. Cultural diversity is what children learn about. I think it’s amazing and you simply cannot get that in a UK independent school.” The school has welcoming community, and each new arrival is appointed a ‘buddy’ to help them settle in.

After an inspection last November by the Education Development Trust, Bromsgrove was awarded the International School Quality Mark at Silver level, noting the outstanding progress made by all students across the school. “An international British boarding school like ours gives the children huge exposure to international life. The children learn to get on with each other, barriers are broken down. It makes them incredibly colour blind and open to different cultures. We’re developing our global leaders of the future,” says Dr. Moore.

The Rugby School, near Pattaya, Thailand Rugby School Thailand is a day and boarding school set on an 80-acre campus, just over an hour from Bangkok. It follows the British private school model, with smaller classes and longer days that include sport and co-curricular activity. Since opening in 2017 it has grown from an enrolment of 120 to over 700, making it one of the fastest-growing international schools in Asia.

“Shun Chong” Tel: 2884 9204

In recent years many of Britain’s most prestigious independent schools have opened international offshoots. While these tend to be franchises, Rugby School Thailand is a genuine sister school to Rugby UK and the two operate closely, with shared ideas, values, and board of Governors. This, the school says, means a top-class British education within easy reach of Hong Kong, rather than a 12+ hour journey away. Its ethos is ‘the whole person, the whole point’, incorporating mind, body and spirit into the learning process to give students “a holistic sense of self and to enable them to achieve in all areas of life”.


UK’s Competitive Edge, Post-Brexit The UK’s departure from the European Union will impact both EU and UK competition law. UK courts will need to work closely with their EU counterparts to ensure they remain relevant in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong. – By Knut Fournier


ompetition law around the world is shaping up. In Asia, most countries and territories now enforce sophisticated comprehensive antitrust statutes, to detect and punish anti-competitive agreements, and abuses by monopolies. This includes Hong Kong, whose Competition Ordinance came into force in 2015. In a few weeks, the Competition Tribunal will issue penalties in the first two cases that it completed. In Europe, enforcers are increasingly eager to take on large internet companies, and the French, German and Polish governments have jointly proposed options for modernising EU competition policy. In the UK, a major reform in 2015 spurred an array of antitrust class actions, including against MasterCard and truck manufacturers.


Against this background, the UK’s departure from the European Union, enacted on 31 January 2020, will impact both EU and UK competition law. The impact of Brexit on UK competition will not be immediate. As part of the effort to convert EU law into UK law at the end of the transition period ending 31 December 2020, the UK government issued regulations to retain EU competition-related regulations and directives which would otherwise cease to have effect at the end of 2020. In the short term, the workload of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK antitrust enforcer, will increase: it is expected that the CMA will take on

more merger cases. Businesses will lose the benefit of filing a single notification of their eligible transactions with Brussels, and will need to consider the UK as a separate jurisdiction for the purpose of merger control. The CMA has warned that it will be able to investigate all mergers, regardless of whether these fall under the EU thresholds, immediately at the end of the transition period, in the event of a “no-deal Brexit”. In effect, it means that the UK enforcer will deal with the kind of large, cross-border cases which typically fell within the jurisdiction of Brussels – with a substantial effect on its case-load. On the antitrust side of things, EU rules on anticompetitive agreements and abuses of dominance (respectively articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) will continue to apply to agreements and conduct of UK companies, when these have an effect in the EU. The CMA will also now work on some of the antitrust investigations and enforcement actions which would otherwise be dealt with by the European Commission. In practical terms, the European Commission will no longer be able to conduct unannounced visits on the UK premises of businesses – nor will the CMA be able to conduct these raids on behalf of the European Commission. However, it is expected that an agreement will enable the two authorities, EU and UK, to collaborate post the transition period ending on 31 December 2020.

There remains a question mark on the future influence of UK competition law internationally. This is not an issue limited to antitrust – in all areas of law where common law has been influential either substantially or procedurally, UK’s lack of participation and representation in the EU institutions could undermine the prestige of UK courts internationally. In Hong Kong for instance, a large number of local competition lawyers (barristers and solicitors alike) worked at UK firms, studied in London, or began their careers in London. Experienced barristers from the London competition bar appeared in the Competition Tribunal and at the High Court on behalf of companies alleged to have breached the Hong Kong Competition Ordinance. Numerous UK competition cases are cited by the Competition Tribunal in its first two decisions, rendered in May 2019. However, so are EU competition cases. As the Hong Kong competition regime will continue to develop, judges will continue to draw from foreign regimes for guidance. UK courts and the CMA will need to strive to remain relevant to far-away jurisdictions such as Hong Kong. Ironically, UK courts and enforcers can achieve this by continuing to work closely with the European institutions post-Brexit.

Knut Fournier Lecturer, The University of Law

The University of Law (ULaw) was established in 1876 and it is one of the UK’s longest-established specialist providers of legal education. ULaw has 14 locations across the UK and it has opened the first international campus in Hong Kong in September 2019. ULaw provides a range of legal programmes and all courses are taught by qualified lawyers. Please contact us for more information. Tel: +852 3959 8667 Email: Website:



An Educated Investment Gone are the days of dilapidated student digs. Now they demand high quality rentals – and parents who buy-to-let are reaping the rewards from a growing market. – By Peter Grant


ccording to property investment company, Grant Property, buying properties for students in the UK is not only an attractive and safe investment, but the company predicts that the student buy-to-let market is set to skyrocket. There are over 2 million students in the UK, many from overseas and Asia in particular. The numbers are increasing every year and consequently the rental market is thriving. Parents are recognising the virtues of buying property for their student son or daughter to offset tax, save on rental outgoings and even generate an income from letting out spare rooms. But it is the institutional investors and overseas investors, attracted by the high rental yields and price growth, who are scooping up residential properties in their bid to capitalise on this flourishing market. Peter Grant, founder of Grant Property, which has been sourcing, refurbishing and managing traditional UK buy-to-let properties for clients around the world in over 22 years, says that there has been unprecedented interest in this market recently with Brexit having no detrimental effect on the attraction.


He said: “The UK student rental market is as safe as it gets. Occupancy levels are high and because the student market is less affected by economic or political events than other sectors, this provides stability for the investor. Uncertainty can certainly affect demand, but where some London properties dipped over the last

couple of years, the regional cities scored, especially those with a high student population. We have seen an unprecedented surge of interest from overseas and UK investors, keen to get their hands-on UK properties in student cities outside London, including Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. And I expect that interest to skyrocket. “The key to buy-to-let success is a flourishing rental market, and student accommodation has become the jewel in the crown of the UK property market, with strong demand delivering high yields. The aim of any investment is for highest overall returns. Our clients have seen returns of up to 28% pa over the last 22 years. “And in spite of some areas of London registering a fall in house values in the short term, property prices in other cities across the UK prices are rising at their fastest rates for 10 years. The buy-to-let market remains strong and as the sector has been resilient enough to withstand the last few stormy years of economic uncertainty, it is expected to grow at a healthy rate in the future. We have never seen rents fall in 22 years, just this year we managed to secure a 15% rental increase across our portfolio.” Nowadays students are a discerning bunch and they expect high quality. They want style, comfort and designer bathrooms – a high standard of living. So, according to Grant, student properties have to live up to those expectations. He says: “Student flats were notoriously basic at best and grim at worst but living in squalor is a thing of the past and luxury is now the order of the day. Landlords have a duty to protect their tenants in safe, comfortable and secure environments. We have found that if you provide tenants with a smart Peter Grant founder, Grant Property

classy home, then it is more likely that they will keep it that way. Our focus is on traditional properties in good locations, not purpose-built blocks that tend to attract mainly first year students.” There are strict regulations in the property industry and student accommodation is no different. Grant adds: “Safety legislation requirements need to be regularly reviewed and upgraded so that all properties are fully compliant with all regulations and have the necessary licences. Those in the property industry have an obligation to continue to adhere to current standards and rules.”

Grant Property have been helping clients invest for 22 years. Their ‘one stop shop’ is unique and makes it easy to invest by sourcing, renovating, furnishing and managing the property on your behalf. They focus on traditional properties in good city centre locations as they combine low risk and high returns. To date, they have helped clients invest in over 2,500 properties across 10 UK cities. The business grows through referrals and they now have clients in over 40 countries around the world. For more information visit



Down but Not Out Despite geopolitical and economic volatility, and the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, there are emerging market opportunities for the Greater Bay Area. – By Tom Gaffney


ast February, the Chinese government put to action a development plan for the wider Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) region. But there’s no denying that this region in particular has been wreathed by geopolitical and economic uncertainties. From our perspective, though, we expect this part of the world to remain an investment hotspot in the long term. Guangdong is rising to the ranks of an economic powerhouse in China, its GDP was the first Chinese province to beat the 10.5 trillion yuan mark last year. Encircled by Hong Kong and Macau, the GBA as a whole, plays a pivotal role in bringing momentum to China’s economic progress. Development of the GBA will provide the beating pulse to the area’s residential, office, logistics and industrial, retail and capital markets. Each city


within the region has a competitive edge and the policies within the development plan can help showcase them. For example, fintech giants have helped put Shenzhen on the map in terms of finance, technology and innovation, while Macau is dedicated to its tourism-oriented businesses. In a recent survey conducted by KPMG, HSBC and HKGCC, senior leadership interviewed in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau planned to expand their operations in the GBA by 2022, reinforcing their sense of optimism in this region and giving us good reason to believe that the sentiment here remains robust As more policies and large-scale infrastructural projects are rolled out to as part of GBA development, e.g. the high-speed rail and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the connectivity

between key cities will be enhanced. In addition, the flow of talent and goods will multiply as domestic and international corporates explore additional opportunities in the region. Key industries providing oxygen to the GBA include financial services, technological innovation and manufacturing and their hubs sit across various key cities. The former two in particular are among the most resilient industries amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Against many domestic and overseas uncertainties in 2020, new market opportunities are emerging amid structural trends such as domestic consumption, urbanisation, technology-innovation and ever-evolving tenant demands. For institutional investors looking to tap the full potential of the area, opportunities vary depending on investor’s mandates and background. Core fund investors favour Grade A office assets in Tier-1 cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen for their stronger leasing demand and higher occupancies. Properties in core districts are particularly sought after by investors and end-users for exceptional locations and higher tenancy rates. Investors adopting opportunity or value-added strategies will be drawn to the potential of Tier2 cities like Dongguan, Foshan and Huzhou. For example, logistics would benefit from improved infrastructure in Zhongshan and Zhuhai, while CBRE also expects to see the development of more high-

Tom Gaffney Regional Managing Director, The Greater Bay Area & Hong Kong, CBRE

tech specialised logistics facilities to accommodate e-commerce-related parcel growth and rising costs. Investors in technology and related industries will focus on Shenzhen and Dongguan, as further growth in TMT demand will support the development of new tech parks, business parks and data centres in Greater China. While uncertainties such as global elections, trade war, local social unrest and Covid-19 outbreak continue to weigh on the economic outlook in 2020, Covid-19 is expected to have a short-lived effect on the Chinese economy in H1 2020, with a recovery expected later this year. The GBA has the ammunition to grow into the world’s largest bay area economy. In the face of the uncertainties, the resilience and tenacity of our economies and the region’s unique position positions us for a speedy recovery and ready to embrace a new business paradigm!

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2018 revenue). The company has more than 90,000 employees (excluding affiliates) and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 480 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.



Cash Concentration When it comes to controlling cash flows, every dollar counts no matter what size your business is. – By Fergal Power and Christopher Ball


ash is key to the survival and growth of any business. Exercising proper control of cash flow can help a business achieve a number of goals, including providing a buffer against unexpected market shocks, which is particularly valuable with the global economy impacted by unforeseen events. Optimising working capital can also release cash to deal with rising costs, support growth without raising new funds, increase the valuation of a business and even lower the cost of borrowing if it is used to repay debt.

There are many tools that can provide visibility, but the most effective is a rolling 13-week cash flow forecast prepared on a receipts and payments basis. Once prepared, it can provide management with insight and granular detail around operating cash flow inefficiencies across the organisation. However, cash management is not just the responsibility of management. We advise the establishment of cash committees, comprising of all functional heads, to make them responsible for the management of cash across the organisation, together with aligned KPIs. Cash management can sound laborious

A clear cash and complex – involving substantial management strategy The second priority is a necessity for all spending on information technology – should be for firms to corporates, not just for develop a clear working but it does not have to be. when the economic capital strategy and environment becomes proactively manage their challenging. Cash working capital needs. management can sound These should be viewed laborious and complex – involving substantial holistically and in the context of overall business spending on information technology – but it does requirements. Specifically, do they have a clear not have to be. There are four fundamental steps to target for their level of trade receivables i.e. days building a robust cash management strategy that sales outstanding? What are their target levels of could help safeguard the future of any business, inventory holdings; and how quickly should they regardless of its industry or its size. pay their suppliers? Do they try and squeeze their working capital as much as possible and potentially Firstly, businesses should ensure they have visibility compromise on service levels with their buyers and and control over cash flows. By this, we mean suppliers – allowing them to deploy extracted cash businesses need to simply understand what cash elsewhere? they have and where it is located. Firms must also understand future flows and mitigate the risk of Moving away from a strategy of squeezing working running out of cash. Businesses can survive for capital, we are witnessing a greater trend whereby years without making a profit, but their viability is at larger, more ethically minded corporates are significant risk the moment they run out of cash. no longer looking to extend payment terms to suppliers, at whatever cost to the level of service


they receive. Rather, they are focused on ensuring that there is adequate liquidity in their supply chains and the risk of disruption is mitigated. This development is being enabled by growth in supplier finance programmes provided by commercial banks. For trade receivables, appropriate processes must be in place to ensure clients are invoiced in a timely manner, and there are robust credit controls in place. Analytics can be deployed to understand customers’ payment behaviours, while proactive measures can align behaviours with contractual terms. In addition, receivables factoring programmes can unlock cash and inject more rigour into the cash collection process. However, while technology can be deployed, the current environment requires businesses to focus intensely on cash collections.

is providing insights into operational inefficiencies that otherwise would have proven difficult to detect and rectify. The underlying causes of such inefficiencies can be attributed to several areas, including weak policies, controls and processes that are not aligned to overall strategy, or no longer fit for purpose. In addition, systems that are unable to capture and produce timely, accurate and insightful management information may also be to blame. Certain strategies and KPIs may also drive the wrong behaviours around cash management. This may include, for example, sales teams that are incentivised by revenue targets but not cash collections. Finally, employees may have a lack of awareness around the importance of cash management. Without understanding and addressing the root causes of problems, issues are likely to reoccur.

Thirdly, the status of trapped or illiquid cash within a business should be reviewed. Furthermore, opportunities to defer or reduce payment of tax should be pursued, while non-trading contracts that have a cash requirement should be closely examined. Commercial banks in Hong Kong have developed an array of tools that help businesses, particularly those with cross border operations, manage their liquidity more efficiently. Examples of these include cash pooling and virtual accounts.

In today’s environment, businesses should prioritise cash and ensure they have a sound cash management strategy that reflects the needs and values of the business. Anything less may endanger their future.

Adopting a strategic mindset is important in order to achieve a healthier cash flow. For leading global businesses, effective cash management is a top priority, and cash management is a boardroom priority. Ensure that your business model fully considers the cashflow implications regarding the markets you operate in, the products and services you sell, and the channels these products and services are distributed through. How can your business continue to grow and prosper with a finite amount of working capital?

KPMG China is based in 23 offices across 21 cities with around 12,000 partners and staff in Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Foshan, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR. Working collaboratively across all these offices, KPMG China can deploy experienced professionals efficiently, wherever our client is located.

Indeed, businesses are increasingly making use of data and analytics to manage their working capital more efficiently. Examples of this include analysis around payment behaviours of customers; detailed analysis around cost to serve on inventory, i.e. the true economic profit/loss made by each stock keeping unit or service line; and on payments, being more tactical around the timing and number of payment runs. Such analysis

Fergal Power Partner, Advisory, KPMG China

Christopher Ball Director, Advisory, KPMG China



Good to Go Planning a move to the UK? Make sure you get your tax and finances in order first. – By James Sutton


s family or career circumstances change, there may come a time when you need to consider heading back to the UK – and before this becomes a reality, it is sensible to try to stay a step ahead and get a sense of the tax and financial issues involved. In the midst of packing, address changes, leaving parties and general arrangements, it is easy to forget that you can potentially save a lot of tax.

before you actually move. In addition, moving partway through a tax year may impact tax payable on any investments you hold and plan to sell here. Understanding the date you may become UK resident is now even more important following a recent tax change that Understanding the date you may become will subject an offshore UK resident is now even more important termination payment to UK tax in full if you are UK following a recent tax change that will resident at any point in subject an offshore termination payment the year it is received.

to UK tax in full if you are UK resident at any point in the year it is received.

For example, if you transition over a period of time into a new UKbased role and are spending time in your UK office you may unknowingly qualify for UK residency


A good financial planner and tax adviser will be invaluable to help you navigate some of the potentially tricky tax matters. However, here are some things you should know and consider before you seek advice and make choices.

1. If possible, review your situation in the tax year prior to leaving and take some actions at that time.

or at a minimum in the tax year before your return, the tax implications of your move back can be managed and controlled.

2. Make sure you are up to date with your filing obligations with HMRC. 3. Review all your financial interests including property, accounts, life assurances, pensions and investments. 4. Identify the tax characteristics of each asset, determining which should be kept, and which should be sold for maximum tax efficiency.

If you have planned well ahead of time or at a minimum in the tax year before your return, the tax implications of your move back can be managed and controlled.

5. Recently HMRC has become strict on its definition of what qualifies as resident and non-resident. The Statutory Resident Test lays out the qualifications. Be sure to check on the HMRC website and maintain a record of your “midnights” in the UK in the tax year prior and for ideally five years before that. Getting the most favourable tax assessment on your total wealth can be a minefield. Sometimes the solutions are complex but are certainly still worth a thought. Some other considerations could include: • Pay special attention to your property assets, as Capital Gains Tax complications can arise, for which specialist advice is usually needed. • Particular tax efficiencies can arise through the choice of vehicle through which you invest. • Offshore investment bonds, foreign pension trusts, certain UK vehicles and trusts can all play an important part in delivering a higher net return after tax. • If your spouse is not British, there are particular tax planning considerations you can take into account through the use of offshore assets and holding structures. Typically, a more diversified portfolio will give you greater tax breaks. ISAs, Income Tax allowances and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowances can all be used to minimise your annual tax bill.

Even if you’ve only recently decided that 2020 will be your last year in Hong Kong, make sure you think about these considerations. The good news is that much of this planning can be done well in advance so that if notice is short, you can still be ready to go. Getting your tax planning right will make your move home go that much more smoothly.

You can contact us at, call us on +852 2526 9488, or visit us on the web at

The Fry Group has been providing independent financial advice to British expatriates for 120 years. With more than a century’s experience in Investment planning, UK Tax, Estate and Trustee services, there is no one better placed to deal with the needs of British expatriates in Asia. The Fry Group is licensed in Hong Kong by the Securities and Futures Commission, and licensed as an insurance broker by the Insurance Authority. With offices in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia, clients planning to stay in Hong Kong, move abroad, or return home one day can rest assured that The Fry Group will provide a seamless transition of advice. The Fry Group have received multiple international awards including ‘Excellence in Investment Planning – Hong Kong’ 2019 and ‘Global Best Adviser Firm’ 2019 by the International Adviser. James Sutton Director, The Fry Group Hong Kong

In the fast-changing world today, you may be required to move swiftly. If you have planned well ahead of time



Changes to Hong Kong Employment Law Employers must keep abreast of proposed changes in Hong Kong’s Employment Law slated for 2020. – By Catherine Leung and David Kong


n 2020, there will likely be some significant changes to the employment-related legislation in Hong Kong in various areas, including antidiscrimination, employment benefits, pensions, and data privacy. As of now, there are no fixed dates for any such changes to come into effect in 2020. However, employers are recommended to keep abreast of these changes.

(i) The proposal to amend the existing anti-discrimination legislation The Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 was gazetted in November 2018. It seeks to amend Hong Kong’s existing antidiscrimination legislation to implement the prioritised recommendations given by the Equal Opportunities Commission in its Discrimination Law Review. Some of the key employment-related amendments include: 1. prohibiting discrimination on breastfeeding under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (the “SDO”); 2. prohibiting racial discrimination and racial harassment by imputation under the Race Discrimination Ordinance (the “RDO”); 3. prohibiting disability and racial harassment by customers against services providers under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (the “DDO”) and the RDO respectively; 4. expanding the scope of protection from sexual, disability and racial harassment at a common workplace under the SDO, DDO and RDO respectively. The bill is currently under discussion at the Legislative Council, but some of the proposed changes are expected to come into effect in 2020. In particular, the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2020, which seeks to amend the SDO to provide for protection from harassment of breastfeeding women, was gazetted in January 2020 and was due to be introduced to the Legislative Council for First Reading on 19 February 2020.


(ii) Statutory maternity leave update In December 2019, the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 was gazetted. This bill seeks to implement the Chief Executive’s proposed amendments to statutory maternity benefits in her 2018 Policy Address. The bill proposes that statutory maternity leave entitlement be extended from the current 10 weeks to 14 weeks, and that the payment for the additional 4 weeks of statutory maternity leave be at 80% of the employee’s daily average wages, subject to a cap of HK$36,822 per employee (which is equivalent to 80% of the wages of an employee with a monthly wage of HK$50,000). The bill was introduced into the Legislative Council for First Reading in January 2020.

(iii) The proposal to increase the number of statutory holidays from 12 days to 17 days On 14 January 2020, the Chief Executive announced the government’s plan to increase the number of statutory holidays from the current 12 days to 17 days. Currently, an employee is entitled to 12 statutory holidays under the Employment Ordinance (the “EO”). However, there are five additional general holidays under the General Holidays Ordinance which are observed by banks, educational institutions, and public offices. Under the government’s proposal, the statutory holidays would be aligned with the general holidays.

(iv) Review of the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (the “PDPO”) On 20 January 2020, the Legislative Council Panel on Constitutional Affairs considered the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data’s (“PCPD”) proposed amendments to the PDPO, which include the following: 1. imposing a mandatory data breach notification requirement; 2. requiring data users to have in place a data retention policy; 3. empowering the PCPD to impose administrative fines directly for breaches of the PDPO;

4. enhancing the level of administrative fines to be more in line with the data protection laws of the European Union; 5. imposing legal obligations on data processors or sub-contractors (instead of only targeting data users); 6. imposing regulations on disclosure of personal data of other data subjects (e.g. doxing). The government will work with the PCPD to conduct further research on concrete legislative amendment proposals and consult the Legislative Council and relevant stakeholders in due course.

(v) The proposal to abolish the Mandatory Provident Fund (“MPF”) offset mechanism Currently, an employer is entitled under the EO to offset an employee’s statutory severance or long service payment from the accrued benefits derived from the employer’s contributions to the employee’s MPF scheme. In her 2018 Policy Address, the Chief Executive proposed to abolish the MPF offset mechanism. Under its latest proposal, the government will subsidize employers to meet their statutory severance or long service payment obligations, and the employers will be required to set up designated savings accounts to prepare for the enhanced financial burdens to make the said payments. The government is still engaging in discussions with various stakeholders regarding the details of the amendments. It has announced its intention to get the relevant bill passed by 2022 and for the law to fully come into effect by 2024.

(vi) The proposal to tighten the regulatory regime of occupational retirement schemes Occupational retirement schemes are retirement schemes set up voluntarily by employers to provide retirement benefits for their employees before the launch of the MPF System in 2000. They are governed by the Occupation Retirement Schemes Ordinance (the “ORSO”). The Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 2019 was gazetted in April 2019. It serves to ensure that only employment-based schemes could fall into the ambit of the ORSO (i.e. carving out any de facto investment or tax saving vehicles), and any schemes which fail to meet this employment-based criterion will not be eligible for registration or exemption

under the ORSO (and accordingly they will lose the corresponding tax and regulatory advantages). The bill is currently still under discussion at the Legislative Council, and there is no definite timeline on when it will be passed and come into effect.

Implications for Hong Kong employers Hong Kong has long been recognised as an employer-friendly jurisdiction. However, the potential legislative changes discussed above suggest that there will likely be a trend towards enhanced employee benefits and protections in 2020 and beyond, which may pose administrative and commercial challenges for employers, especially in times of economic uncertainty. As of now, there are no fixed dates for any such changes to come into effect in 2020. In fact, the recent social movements and the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong have posed further uncertainty on the progress of these changes. That being said, employers should keep abreast of these changes and be prepared to review and revise their employment policies to ensure compliance as and when these proposed legislative changes come into effect.

Lewis Silkin LLP ( / @LewisSilkin) is a law firm with offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin and Hong Kong. The firm has a particular specialism in employment and immigration law. Lewis Silkin is renowned for its work with creative, innovative and brandfocused businesses and for delivering pragmatic advice in a refreshingly human way.

Catherine Leung Legal Director, Lewis Silkin LLP

David Kong Associate, Lewis Silkin LLP



Overcoming Employee Health Inertia While a new report shows that many employees aren’t paying enough attention to their health, it provides an opportunity for employers to take action to tackle the problem. – By Aetna International


esearch findings from Aetna International’s report on Business of health 2020: Why overcoming employee health inertia is essential for organisations, shows that despite access to information and technology, non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases continue to rise. As a leading global health benefits provider, we set out to explore the attitudes to health of 4,000 office workers in USA, UK, UAE and Singapore, focusing on the health fears of today’s workers and probing the gaps in their own health knowledge. Despite the fact that 96% of those surveyed think about their health at least some of the time, 40% do not go to the doctor to get health issues checked, even if they are concerned, and nearly a quarter (24%) say they are too scared to get a health check. Inflexible and long working hours compound the


problem, as employees feel unable to take time off to manage their health. The data shows the size and breadth of the challenge, but also provides an opportunity for employers to build happier, healthier, more productive businesses. Below are some actionable tactics that businesses can implement to reduce personal health inertia:

5 ways companies can tackle employee health inertia 1. Know your audience Your company’s health and wellness strategy should be intrinsically motivated. By analysing the factors that motivate employees, understanding their health needs and the social determinants at play, employers can embed health care and healthy behaviours into daily working routines and corporate culture.

It’s important to create an environment where people feel they have some control over their support options as employees might be sceptical about employers who ‘push too hard’. Commit to reviewing and revising your initiatives to see what worked and what didn’t. Involve your employees in this process.

Virtual health care services offer ease of access to personal health advice and diagnoses and could be more widely used worldwide to tackle health inertia. Better access to online health consultations would encourage nearly a third of people to get regular check-ups.

Employers have an opportunity to foster loyalty and retain talent for longer if they provide good health and wellness benefits and implement workplace wellbeing policies that meet the needs of today’s valuebased workforce.

Improved symptom checkers and online triage tools will use reliable information sources for better health outcomes. Beyond diagnosis, personalised treatment journeys can be developed that offer support throughout. Other health care technologies, such as Aetna DNA, are already making it possible to predict, prevent and manage health in new ways.

2. Be consistent Beyond making holistic health and wellness benefits available to your employees, extract the optimal value from these programmes by motivating your workforce to be more conscious of their own health. Promote the value of taking preventative action to help employees stay healthy and well – whether for their own benefit, the benefit of their family or their future financial security. This can be accomplished by informing and educating your staff through consistent, ongoing communication. Provide simple and clear messaging using every available communication channel and promote a culture of openness and acceptance around emotional, mental and physical health. 3. Deliver personalisation Whatever stage of their health care journey, employees will feel less isolated and be more productive when there’s a greater level of support from their employer. Through providing confidential health and wellness support, employers have the power to become equal partners in an individual’s health care journey. This partnership entails providing motivation, support and access to workplace health advice. For example, you can implement a multi-option approach to health and wellness benefits with a range of services, tools and options tailored to your workforce. Ensure that it is easy for employees to find and access the health support they need. In addition, provide clearly written and published privacy statements, and demonstrate that firewalls are in place. 4. Embrace innovation The role of technology cannot be ignored. People are ready for more technology in health care and employers should capitalise on this.

5. Build a culture People delay seeking help for health issues due to worries, nervousness and a lack of time – this can be compounded by the stigma attached to stress and mental health. Establish workplace policies that empower people to adopt healthy behaviours, including taking time out to investigate and invest in their own health. Embrace wellness at a leadership level, and keep up to date on what employees think, what’s resonating and what they need. This will help the organisation find out how wellness initiatives are working – whether it’s locally, regionally or internationally – and what can be improved. Companies can introduce health clinics within office settings, so employers can see a doctor on site. Our clinicians agree that while technology has many applications, there’s little substitute for speaking to a human being.

As one of the largest providers of international private medical insurance, Aetna International serves more than 800,000 members worldwide. Its global benefits include medical, dental, vision, and emergency assistance. For information on the data that informs our insights, or how we can help you customise a well-being strategy to suit your workforce, contact us at



Traveller Satisfaction Guaranteed As traveller expectations continue to soar, airports and their ecosystem of businesses must strategically consider how to give passengers the right airport experience. – By Vincent K. Lai


nce upon a time, the airport was merely a site of transit. A necessary stepping stone in the journey to get from A to B. Today, however, the airport is transforming into an exciting, enjoyable destination in its own right. The best airports in the world are home to luxury shopping, five-star dining, and exquisite amenities for entertainment and relaxation. The arrival of this enhanced airport experience is great news for passengers, but it also means that traveller expectations are now soaring. This opens up an important new question for businesses involved in the travel and airport ecosystem – what do travellers want, and how can we deliver it? Collinson, a global leader in travel experience and loyalty, and owner and operator of Priority PassTM, the industry-leading airport experiences programme, recently undertook a piece of research to help answer this question. The ‘Airport Journey’ global report – which surveyed 6,667 people across 11 countries and regions in Asia, the Americas, Europe and beyond – seeks to understand more about evolving traveller preferences and behaviour. One key finding from the research is that traveller satisfaction with the airport experience is on the rise. In 2019, 63% of global travellers said they enjoy the airport experience, a jump of 13 percentage points from 2018 when only 50% of travellers said the same. Similarly, whereas nearly a quarter (23%) of travellers felt the airport was something to be “endured” in 2018, just one year later that figure fell to 14% – indicating that more than eight in 10 travellers now see the airport as much more than just a necessary (and potentially bothersome) point of transit. The research also found that when travellers are happy, they’re more likely to spend. Nearly nine in 10 (88%) travellers who routinely spend over HK$1,500 at the airport say the airport experience is an enjoyable


part of the journey. On the other hand, the least satisfied travellers spend less than HK$200. These figures suggest that travellers are becoming increasingly satisfied with the airport experience, which is resulting in a more seamless and enjoyable journey.

Airport satisfaction varies by market Important to note is, while airport satisfaction is on the rise across the board, some travellers are more content than others. The recent ‘Airport Journey’ report from Collinson found that travellers in Asia and the Middle East enjoy the airport experience significantly more than travellers in markets such as the US and Europe. Additionally, 74% of traveller responses in markets like India, China and the UAE said they enjoy the airport experience, compared to less than half (48%) across markets like the US, the UK and Germany. Why the gulf in traveller satisfaction? There are likely a few factors at play. A big one is that airports in Asia and the Middle East are, on average, newer than those in the US and Europe. Top-ranked airports like Singapore Changi, Incheon International and our very own Hong Kong International Airport are home to innovative design and ultra-modern facilities; whereas many airports in the West must contend with longstanding legacy infrastructure. After all, Europe and the US are home to the world’s 10 oldest airports while the average US airport is over 40 years old. The wonderful thing about today’s innovative travel experience tech and solutions is that every airport, in every region now has the unique opportunity to improve the airport experience for passengers. No matter the age of the infrastructure, passengers will be more satisfied if they can enjoy a seamless journey with unexpected moments of delight. For instance, DFW Airport in Texas is one of America’s oldest airports at 45 years old, yet still delivers pioneering digital-led

experiences including food pre-ordering through a partnership with Grab. Another example is travel retail app Inflyter, which allows travellers to pre-order and collect duty-free purchases on their inbound journey or have them delivered to an airport lounge.

3 ways to enhance the airport experience To conclude, there are a few key takeaways for every business across the airport ecosystem. 1. Know your customer. Data is absolutely critical to understand the growing and changing needs of travellers, especially as their expectations continue to rise. 2. Focus on convenience, time-saving and incentivisation. With the travel experience platforms available today, there’s no reason that passengers can’t order a meal before they arrive at the airport, enjoy duty-free shopping delivered Vincent K. Lai Director, Collinson Hong Kong

to their final destination, or get payment card incentives linked to their favourite airline loyalty currency. 3. Provide a seamless experience. It’s all about creating a holistic ecosystem of happy moments, where services, information and amenities are linked, so that passengers feel catered to at every point along the journey. As technology and traveller preferences continue to evolve, it is incumbent on every member of the travel and airport ecosystem to keep asking – what is the ideal airport experience and how do we deliver this? With curiosity, innovation and a customer-centric approach, there’s no doubt that the future of the airport experience will continue to fly. Download Collinson’s airport Journey report from our website –

Collinson is a global leader in customer benefits and loyalty. We deliver exceptional travel, assistance and insurance products that differentiate value propositions, and loyalty solutions that win deeper, more valuable customer relationships. Our clients include American Express, Cathay Pacific, Mastercard, Radisson Hotel Group, Sephora, UnionPay and Visa.


LIVING: TRAVEL Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan

Undiscovered Family Adventure Holidays Looking for something a little different this Easter? Here, we’ve compiled a list of trips that not only satisfy those looking for a family-friendly adventure but will also keep you away from the crowds. – By Jacada Travel


inding holidays that offer truly unique, once-in-alifetime experiences that will also keep children happy can be hard – especially when you add ‘away from the crowds’ into the description. Our expert Travel Designers, however, understand the needs of travelling with children, and have been working hard on creating some exciting new adventures for you and your loved ones. So, whether you’re looking to soak up some culture, explore the great outdoors, unwind by the sea or enjoy some really great food, there’s something for everyone in our Top 3 undiscovered family adventure holidays.

hills in the north of the country, for this particular adventure, we recommend you do the opposite. Rather than follow the hordes to the hills, we suggest heading down south to the beautiful states of Karnataka and Kerala.


Next up? Safari. Just a short drive from Mysore is Nagarhole National Park – one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka. Enjoy a vehicle safari with

April is a hot month in much of India, and whilst most people escape the heat by heading to the


Start your journey in the enchanting city of Mysore, home to the opulent Mysore Palace and centuriesold Devaraja market, filled with spices, sandalwood and silk. Soak up the rich culture of this atmospheric place, try the amazing local food and enjoy guided walking tours of the city’s highlights.

your family, where you can take turns spotting Asian elephants, gaur and chitals along with wild dogs, tigers and – if you’re lucky – leopards! After all that excitement, it’s time to unwind in the rural district of Coorg. Set amidst the mountains with a perpetually misty landscape, it’s an idyllic destination for nature lovers and coffee lovers alike. Why coffee lovers, you ask? Well, not only is Coorg known for its exotic scenery, but also its coffee plantations. Enjoy long, leisurely walks through the beautiful mountains with your family and learn about coffee production at the plantations. Mysore Palace, India

Your final stop on this southern Indian adventure is Nileshwar, a small, coastal town in northern Kerala, still awaiting discovery. Empty beaches lined by coconut plantations await you and your family, along with Kerala’s famous inland waterways. If you’re not done exploring yet, why not take a walk through the tranquil surroundings of a typical Hindu village? Or, if your feet have had enough, enjoy a boat trip through the enchanting backwaters. It’s a place so magical, you’ll never want to leave – trust us.

Japan Japan in Spring? How original, you’re probably thinking. But this trip, we promise you, truly is. Whilst tourists begin flooding in ahead of the summer Olympics, and people head to the capital for cherry blossom season, we recommend heading north to Hokkaido for this nature-lover’s dream holiday. Your adventure starts in Sapporo, the capital of the island. It has everything you could want from a Japanese city: a thriving food scene, quaint Japanese temples, mountain vistas and some of the country’s best – and

oldest – beer. It is a city of festivals and fun. Children will love visiting the Ishiya Chocolate Factory, and for the adults, a brewery tour (or two). Your next stop is the beautiful national park of Daisetsuzan, where you can stay in a traditional ryokan. It is a paradise for nature photographers, hikers and wildlife fanatics – home to a number of rare animals and alpine plants. There are walks that cater to every ability here, or if you prefer, there’s also a cable car to the summit of majestic Mt. Asahidake. After a long day of exploring, unwind in an onsen in the hot spring towns at the foot of the hills.

Hachimanzaka slope in Hakodate city, Japan



River Kwai, Thailand

Lake Toya, Japan

Ayutthaya temple, Thailand


Kerala, India

Feeling suitably relaxed? Great. Now it’s time to head down south, to Hakodate, for the culinary highlight of your adventure. Famed for delicious seafood and fish markets, you won’t be upset to leave here a few pounds heavier than when you arrived. Visit the castle and Fort Goryokaku before burning off some of that food with a walk up Mount Hakodate, for a spectacular view of the city. Postcard-perfect Lake Toya is your final stop on this family adventure, home to a number of luxury spa hotels. Visit Mount Usu, the volcano that formed the lake, and soak up the beautiful vistas on a hike – or, if you prefer, the back of a horse. There are also wonderful food tours to enjoy and, of course, hot springs to relax in. Bliss!

Thailand Think you know Thailand? Think again. Avoiding the crowds might seem hard in this bustling SoutheastAsian country, but this wonderful adventure will take you to lesser-known parts. Expect amazing food, opulent temples, rich history and sparkling beaches as you work your way around the outlying towns and cities of Bangkok.

for its dark history, the town, contrastingly, is made up of charming wooden houses, set beside the river Kwai. Explore the town, visit the WWII museums and hear the tale of the infamous ‘Death Railway’ before taking a ride on it yourself. Oh, and don’t forget to walk the Memorial Walking Trail, which looks out over Myanmar. Ayutthaya is your next stop on this off-the-beatentrack adventure. The second capital of the Siamese Kingdom from 1350 to 1767, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage centre. Explore the ruins of this great city with your family and learn about its grand history. In the evening, after you’ve watched the sun set behind the temple, enjoy the food markets and try your hand at Thai cooking. After all that history, it’s time to relax by the ocean at your final destination: Koh Samet. Here, you will be greeted by an endless stretch of pristine white sand. It is the perfect place for some quality family time. Do as little – or as much – as you please, as you bask in the sun at this exclusive island resort and plan your next holiday back to this beautiful place.

The vibrant metropolis of Bangkok is where you will begin your trip. Enjoy cultural highlights, such as the breathtaking Grand Palace and equally impressive temples, and marvel at the Royal Family’s boats in the Royal Barge Museum, as you float down the river on a luxurious water limousine. After a fleeting stay in the capital, you’ll head to the historic town of Kanchanaburi. Known

Koh Samet, Thailand

Founded in 2008, Jacada is a bespoke travel company with a difference: central to everything they do is the desire to effect positive change and enrich the lives of those they encounter along the way. Their tailor-made trips are designed for travelers who prefer a more personal, authentic way of travelling – for those who wish to go beyond the typical and experience something truly special.



Book Shelf Book Shelf presents the favourites – new and old – of Chamber members for your suggested reading pleasure. China's Hong Kong by Tim Summers (* A member of the British Chamber) At a time of heightened tensions in Hong Kong, this book offers a balanced and clear-headed appraisal of the politics of this global city. The constitutional settlement under which Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the PRC in 1997 was based on the idea of “one country, two systems”. At the time of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule, there was much speculation over how and whether an open society and market economy would be respected by an authoritarian state, one which has since risen to become the world’s second largest economy. Tim Summers looks afresh at the constitutional settlement and considers whether it has been able to withstand the changes in Hong Kong, the economic rise of China, and the shifts in the global economy that have accompanied them.

Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich A self-proclaimed “myth buster by trade”, Barbara Ehrenreich has covered an extensive range of topics as a journalist and political activist, and is unafraid to dive into intellectual waters that others deem too murky. Now, Had I Known gathers the articles and excerpts from a long-ranging career that most highlight Ehrenreich’s brilliance, social consciousness, and wry wit.

The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II by Katherine Sharp Landdeck When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Cornelia Fort was already in the air. At 22, Fort had escaped Nashville’s debutante scene for a fresh start as a flight instructor in Hawaii. She and her student were in the middle of their lesson when the bombs began to fall, and they barely made it back to ground that morning. Still, when the U.S. Army Air Forces put out a call for women pilots to aid the war effort, Fort was one of the first to respond. She became one of just over 1,100 women from across the nation to make it through the Army’s rigorous selection process and earn her silver wings. The brainchild of trailblazing pilots Nancy Love and Jacqueline Cochran, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) gave women like Fort a chance to serve their country – and to prove that women aviators were just as skilled as men. The program was later disbanded, the women sent home. But the bonds they’d forged never failed, and over the next few decades they came together to fight for recognition as the military veterans they were – and for their place in history.




Food & Drink The first speakeasy concept by award-winning mixologist John Nugent, The Diplomat offers a cocktail experience befitting of the convivial personality of Hong Kong. The beverage menu features small batched produced wine, vintage liquors, and reimagined classic cocktails shaped by the legacy of influential state leaders, ambassadors, and historical figures. The Diplomat’s interiors are reminiscent of a cozy gastropub and feature eclectic artwork by contemporary creatives that accentuate the speakeasy’s contrasted spaces. Whether for the expertly crafted cocktails, open-armed hospitality or whimsical ambiance, The Diplomat is a place weary travellers can call home.

Enjoy the best time of the year with The Murray Staycation Package. No matter how well you know Hong Kong, rediscover the many charms and attractions of this vibrant city from a luxury perspective. Reserve now and treat your loved ones to a memorable escape. Packed with exclusive privileges from dining credits to complimentary roll-away bed, the ‘limited time only’ offer includes:

LG/F, High Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong

• Complimentary children amenity

• Daily breakfast for two at The Tai Pan or Garden Lounge • Complimentary breakfast for children under 6 years old • Free parking at The Murray • HK$1,200 dining credit per night • A complimentary roll-away bed for N1 Deluxe Room • T&C’s Apply

Food & Drink Bringing more than three centuries of food and drink expertise to Hong Kong for the very first time, Fortnum & Mason opened its highly anticipated shop and restaurant in K11 MUSEA last November. Serving lunch, dinner and of course Fortnum’s world-famous Afternoon Tea – identical to that served in its London flagship’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, from the freshly baked scones to the delicate finger sandwiches – 181 enjoys spectacular views across Victoria Harbour. Visitors enter through the shop and ascend a sweeping staircase adorned with wallpaper depicting a fantastical garden scene designed by English artist Melissa White, and

discover a seasonally changing menu that includes Fortnum’s signatures such as the Welsh Rarebit and Scotch Egg with Piccadilly Piccalilli, Beef Wellington flambéed at the table, and a decadent Knickerbocker Glory. Whether London or Hong Kong, nobody forgets their first encounter with Fortnum’s, where extraordinary food and fine dining are specialties. Shop 022, G/F, K11 Atelier, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. (852) 3916 8181



Member Offers

There are many great benefits of being a member of The British Chamber of Commerce. One of those is the Member Offers programme, an exclusive package of member discounts which range from dining and hospitality, to travel and business services. Full offer details are available online at

Food & Beverage

20% off a-la-carte dinner menu

10% discount on the dining bill 10% off a-la-carte menu items 10% discount on a-la-carte dining 10% discount on the dining bill

10% discount on the dining bill 10% discount on the dining bill

10% discount on the dining bill

10% Discount at Tango Argentinian Steak House Elements

10% discount on the dining bill

20% discount on the dining bill

10% discount on the dining bill 10% discount on the dining bill

Lifestyle & Travel 20% off 20% off

20% off dining bill at dinner 15% off spa treatment 15% discount on dining bill

15% discount on dry cleaning services

Up to 15% discount on food and beverage

Receive an extra 30 minute massage treatment when you book your first 90 minutes

15% discount on dining between Monday to Saturday

Special Accommodation Package at The Murray

10% off dining bill for Korean BBQ 20% off 15% off food & beverage at all restaurants and cafés

20% discount on treatments for first time clients, and 10% on subsequent visits

10% discount on the dining bill

30% off all full-priced products

10% discount on the dining bill

5% discount on all flights from Hong Kong to London 10% off the “Best Available Rate” of the month

10% discount on the dining bill

Business Services

20% Discount on F&B at The Murray’s Restaurants

Enjoy members’ rates on events hosted by the China-Britain Business Council

10% discount on the dining bill

Enjoy members’ rates on events hosted by the British Business Association of Macao

Email to suggest an offer to our members. Strictly limited to member companies only.



HK Dollar Peg: Here to Stay or Time for a Rethink? 10 January 2020 At the first event of the year for the Chamber, John Greenwood, architect of the Hong Kong dollar peg, presented to a soldout audience on the history and future of the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the US dollar. Reviewing the history of the HK$ and its move from a silver standard to a floating rate and onto the US peg, Mr Greenwood remarked that the US$ peg has helped ensure that the HK$ has remained stable despite a number of external

pressures including the handover in 1997, the dotcom bubble, and SARS. Commenting on its future, Mr Greenwood explained that it would be unlikely to see a shift from the US$ to another currency such as the yuan, euro, or pound given the majority of all Asian transactions remain on one side at least in US$. Moreover, he added that a currency board model works best when linked to a fully convertible currency. Sponsored by

China’s Global Ambitions: From Trade War to Tech War 17 January 2020 In partnership with scoutAsia, we welcomed Jamil Anderlini, Financial Times’ Asia Editor, to share his insights on China’s technology sector and its impact on the rest of the world. Against a background of the US-China trade war, Beijing is in pursuit of global leadership in a growing number of technologies. China has some impressive stories including the celebrated high-speed rail which accounts for two-thirds of the world’s total high-speed railway networks. China’s state-owned rail company has around 50% of global market share, providing the same technology as Western and Japanese counterparts at a fraction of the price. In fact, China


owns enough track to stretch from London to Beijing, and back – twice! In 2016, China spent more on importing microchips than it did on oil, remaining highly reliant on foreign companies to provide the technology. What’s interesting here is that China was still the biggest importer of oil globally. On the other hand, companies such as Alibaba and Tencent which are at the leading edge of e-commerce, have business models that are not yet replicable outside of China. This highlights that whilst China might be seen to be highly innovative, in some areas it remains fairly lowtech and highly labour intensive, but that is rapidly changing.

A Solution to Hong Kong’s Plastic Bottle Waste 21 January 2020 The whole world is becoming more concerned not only about the impact of waste plastic on the environment but the reuse of resources. In Hong Kong, awareness of the problem is exacerbated by the lack of collection and recycling facilities and the fact that some 5.2 million PET bottles alone are disposed of every day, mainly to landfill, with very few being recycled. On the other hand, many major manufacturers, aware of EU legislation on recyclables, are looking to incorporate recycled materials into their products. To meet this challenge, New Life Plastics Ltd. (NLP) has been created. It is a joint venture of Alba Group (a specialist resource management company from Germany), Baguio Green (a long-established Hong Kong waste collection company) and Swire Coca-Cola. NLP is building a state-of-the-art facility in EcoPark in Tuen Mun which will process PET (mainly beverage) and HDPE (cleaning and personal care) bottles that are collected across Hong Kong. The plant is designed to process approximately 35,000 tonnes a year – around 70 tonnes of PET and 30 tonnes of HDPE bottles a day. A key differentiator of this project from other recycling plants in Hong Kong is that the food grade PET will be kept as food grade through the process which will allow the output to be incorporated into new food containers. The sophisticated processing plant, manufactured by equipment specialist STF in Germany, will ensure that the output of both the PET and HDPE lines will be considered as a product for manufacture and will no longer be considered as waste. A key challenge for the project will be the development of the collection network across Hong Kong. NLP will create new and use existing networks to install new Reverse Vending Machines and work with NGOs, property management companies, institutions, hotels and the like. What NLP will offer, which will encourage suppliers to participate, is transparency of the process. The NLP website will show how much material has been collected,

how much waste there is in the process and, most importantly, the final destination of the output. For the PET output, certificates will be provided confirming that the material has been reused for manufacture. Construction of the facility commenced with a ground breaking ceremony in September 2019 and it is anticipated that the plant will become operational in autumn 2020. In addition to the environmental benefits of the proper processing of the waste plastic bottles, the facility will include energy saving aspects including roof mounted solar photo-voltaic panels, waste water recycling, heat recovery and other environmental features. The facility will incorporate an education centre which will allow visitors to understand the benefits of the NLP system and see the processing plant in operation. NLP believes that keeping the processed materials at the same grade as the input will form an essential part of the circular economy for plastic bottles. NLP and its JV partners have a vision to be seen as a global role model for the processing of postconsumer PET and HDPE, while also giving full transparency of yields and processed tonnages to all stakeholders.



Marketing Outlook 2020: How to Deal with Uncertainty 23 January 2020 Companies that instil flexibility, awareness, and resilience are more likely to prosper and survive during times of uncertainty. Marketing plays a key role in this. The Chamber welcomed Suresh Balaji, James Coghill and Laurel West to share their insights. From the discussion it was clear that brand building should still be at the forefront of any business, even during times of uncertainty. It’s important to stay true to your purpose and focus on the core mission of the business. Tell a story that allows you to connect with your customers, showing that you are there to serve them and their needs. It may come as no surprise that technology plays an integral role. With greater insights into our customers than ever before, we can use data to make smarter and faster marketing decisions.

Customers’ expectations have changed and the experience we now all expect is greater. Those that are able adapt and provide enhanced experiences will reap the rewards. Building on strategic partnerships is also an efficient and effective way to drive this change.

Webinar: Covid-19 Impact on Business 17 February 2020 The Chamber Chairman, Peter Burnett, and Executive Director Andrew Seaton hosted a webinar for Chamber members on the implications for businesses of the coronavirus outbreak. Peter relayed the main points of a recent Hong Kong government briefing he had attended on its strategy for tackling the outbreak, including its current focus on containment. The Chamber leaders listened to members’ voices on the impacts their businesses are facing. They encouraged members to participate in


Chamber’s policy work so that recommendations to government regarding the virus are as well informed as possible, and best reflect the real needs of business. The Chamber is hosting a series of webinars on topics relevant to how companies can best manage their way through the virus outbreak, including tips and advice on making remote working successful, and employee management during the virus. Please stay tuned to our website for further updates.


Perspectives In this issue of Britain in Hong Kong, we check in with one of the Chamber’s Sterling Members to get a fresh perspective on our local businesses, and a peek into the personalities of our captains of industry.

Mun Yeow

Partner, Member of the Global Strategy Board, Clyde & Co How’s business? Now is a very exciting time for our firm in Hong Kong and across the APAC region. The Hong Kong office was opened in 1981, our first overseas office. Since then, we have opened, across the region, an office in Singapore, three offices in mainland China and four offices in Australia. The region is full of possibility for our firm. Hong Kong is strategically placed to capture the opportunities which come with the exponential growth in Asia, and particularly, mainland China. Hong Kong succeeds because it has stable and sound legal and governance systems. Despite the recent challenges with protests, and more recently the coronavirus, I am optimistic that Hong Kong will bounce back and continue to serve as an international finance centre and a gateway


for capital flowing into mainland China for the foreseeable future.

What are your plans for the firm in the region this year? Our plans for Asia are to be one of the leading international law firms in the Greater Bay Area during the course of 2020, which dovetails the target set by the Central Committee for collaboration among the 11 cities. The Greater Bay Area will have a population of 70 million people and GDP of around US$1.5 trillion. The size of the economy will be close to Russia’s and larger than Australia’s. Hong Kong’s status as a financial centre and an international legal and dispute resolution centre is emphasised, and its leadership in aviation and ports sectors

is recognised, in the Outline Development Plan recently released by the Central Government. Our plans are to leverage our specialist expertise and our sophisticated sector approach in capturing the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.

in turn, gives us the opportunity to develop and retain talent, because junior lawyers feel they are contributing real value to their work and they develop a stronger sense of their own worth. So if we approach it correctly, new technology benefits everyone: it generates savings for our clients and I am optimistic that Hong Kong will helps us nurture our junior bounce back and continue to serve lawyers.

The Greater Bay Area will be the engine and hub for the growth in countries along the routes in the Belt as an international finance centre Road Initiative. The routes Embrace each challenge and a gateway for capital flowing into as an opportunity is our are aligned with the global footprint of our firm given motto. mainland China for the foreseeable we have offices across future. How does the APAC, in Africa and the British Chamber of Middle East as well as in Commerce add value Europe and North America to your business? and South America. For The Chamber has been steadfast in its promotion instance, the Middle East and the UAE, where our of Hong Kong as a place to do business, and firm has a network of offices, plays a pivotal role we value the cross-cultural linkages it fosters. in supporting the initiative as a financial hub as Personally, I’ve found it invaluable as a place to well as servicing trade between Asia, Africa and meet like-minded people and expand professional Europe with its sophisticated transport links and networks. modern ports. Our challenge is to connect and position ourselves naturally for development of the Belt Road Initiative which is a project described as About the interviewee being the most ambitious in human history.

What are the biggest challenges to international law firms?

How long have you been living in Hong Kong?

International law firms face many challenges. To be sustainable, we need to control direct costs including property, salary and investments. To be effective, we need to stay ahead and invest in innovation and technology. To be corporately responsible, we need to promote diversity and to reduce our carbon footprint. The list goes on.

What is your favourite place in Hong Kong?

If I were to identify the biggest of all the challenges, I would say it is how to recruit, develop and retain talent. We are a people business. Our success hinges upon how we develop and retain talent. We should instill in our people a sense of belonging. We should embrace different cultures and creeds, encourage a variety of views and perspectives, and develop a culture of collaboration. That is important in itself, but especially so given the impact of innovation and technology in our business. With AI advancing all the time, junior lawyers are increasingly free to undertake strategic or analytical work, which they find more satisfying and rewarding than traditional routine tasks. That,

I was born and educated in Hong Kong. I then left Hong Kong for almost 20 years during which time I lived in England. I returned to Hong Kong in 1997 and am here to stay!

The Peak at night. On a clear night the view is spectacular, dazzling and amazing. It never fails to rekindle my love for Hong Kong.

What is your favourite (nonprofessional) occupation?

I love hiking. Hong Kong has the most amazing hiking trails. Follow any trail and very soon you will find yourself completely disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step�, ascribed to Laozi, 400 BC.


YOUR CHAMBER Sponsored by

16 January 2020 – Gishiki Lounge, Tai Kwun

Gwen Ip (Alteryx), Mark Lanning (Withers) and Terence Yip (Velocity)

Raymond Wong (Velocity), Stephanie Cheung (Wework) and Maverick Lam (Velocity)

Alexandra Boakes Tracy (Hoi Ping Ventures) and Javis Mensah (IFS)

Ana Landeros (MetLife) and Joel Tippey (IFS)

Katherine Rumble & Katie Donszelmann (Habitat for Humanity), Nadia Mikhailovna Lanning (AIA) and Li Li (IMS)

Sam Harley (Pyrmont) and Ken Crombie (Trapezium)

Sophie Van Pelt and Justine Garrett (Create)

Hugo Deacon (British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong), Chris Harvey (Halkin Cross) and Daniel Billig (JLL)

Lucas Ting (HKWJ) and Thomas Sutcliffe (PWC)

Thomas Yung (BSC) and Ai-Jo Wu (Addleshaw Goddard)

Alexandra Boakes Tracy (Hoi Ping Ventures) and James McGowan (Admiralty Chambers)

Peter Burnett (Chairman, British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong) and Katherine Rumble (Habitat for Humanity)